Urbino is listed as UNESCO world heritage site. It was at its most prosperous in the late 15th and early 16th centuries. Much of what we see today dates from that period of prosperity, above all the period during which Federico de Montefeltro was the Duke of Urbino (1444-82), who acquired the ducal title.
Federico, nicknamed "the Light of Italy", is a landmark figure in the history of Italian Renaissance for his contributions to enlightened culture. He supported for example the development of fine artists, including the early training of the young painter Raphael.

Nowadays the palazzo ducale houses the Galleria Nazionale delle Marche which is one of the best collections of Renaissance paintings in the world. Among the masterpieces: the "Portrait of a Lady" by Raffaello (better known as "The Mute Woman"), two paintings by Piero della Francesca: the "Flagellation of Christ" and the “Madonna of Senigallia”, two Titian paintings, "The Last Supper" and the "Resurrection" of Christ.